Since Clayton got the girl, he said he doesn't regret starring on Season 26, which turned out to be one of the most controversial The Bachelor seasons ever.
But Clayton noted, "At the same time, I would never, ever do it again," according toThe Virginian-Pilot in an interview published on Sunday.
Clayton was heavily scrutinized for how he had treated his bachelorettes during filming.
Clayton faced backlash for telling all of his Final 3 women that he loved them and for sleeping with both Gabby Windey and Rachel Recchia before his last Fantasy Suite date with the girl he was supposedly the "most in love" with, Susie.
The former medical sales representative and college football player also received hate during his season for keeping The Bachelor villain Shanae Ankney around so long when most of the women had warned him multiple times about her tendency to be disrespectful and manipulative.
"I believe that I was supposed to go through that exact situation for some reason," Clayton told the newspaper.
Once Clayton introduced Gabby and Rachel to his family in Iceland during the final week of the show, he realized Susie was a "once-in-a-lifetime woman" with whom he wanted to spend the rest of his life. He therefore dumped Gabby and Rachel together and at the same time.
Many fans reached out to Clayton through his Instagram DMs as the season aired, telling him to kill himself and that he's not worthy of love.
On The Bachelor: After the Final Rose that aired in March, Clayton was accused of pitting the women against each other. Gabby also scolded Clayton for betraying her and not being forthcoming with all of the information he had during filming, and Rachel also said she felt misled and used.
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Rachel even questioned Clayton if he had just said "I love you" during Fantasy Suites in order to sleep with her -- which he firmly denied.
"I just know that being a good Bachelor or being a bad Bachelor doesn't equate to being a good or bad person," Clayton said.
And Clayton was also pulled apart for even the smallest things.
ManyThe Bachelor fans criticized Clayton for being a poor Bachelor choice and having little to no personality or depth. People even poked fun at Clayton for licking his lips and making "gross" kissing noises.
Clayton previously said he hit "rock bottom" and sank into depression and anxiety while the show was airing. However, he decided to go to therapy and push through the negativity, ultimately becoming an advocate for mental health.
Clayton said he is now working on a book dealing with body issues considering he had struggled with his self-image for a very long time.
"It's something that I'm passionate about, and I want to be able to impact others," Clayton shared, adding how he wants to be "a light" for others going through similar issues.
"You start to go down this rabbit hole of you read one comment and then the next one piles on and then the next one piles on. You just realize very quickly that you can't keep everyone happy," Clayton said at the time.
"I read one recently about how 'Clayton is too reassuring to the women.'"
Clayton complained that he was either saying too much or not enough, adding, "I need to stop trying to please everyone."
Clayton also revealed at the time his mother was really "struggling" with all the bad publicity and mean comments about her son.
"People have to understand your words do affect me. I'll put a smile on and start brand new and start the day over... but you think it's just one comment. Understand that... [it's] 10,000 other comments and they all pile on. And it can be a lot," Clayton said.
"It can really affect someone's mental health -- not only mine but my mom's."
Clayton therefore urged viewers to think twice before posting something mean or nasty online.
But Clayton's roller-coaster experience on the show had a happy ending.
Susie -- who quit The Bachelor during her Fantasy Suite date -- ultimately returned to the show and made an appearance at the Final Rose Ceremony, but she dumped the Bachelor instead of accepting his final rose. Susie said at the time that Clayton wasn't her person and they didn't seem meant to be.
However, Susie reached out to Clayton post-filming seeking some answers, and the pair reconciled.
Clayton even quit his job as a medical sales rep and moved to Susie's Virginia hometown following the filming of After the Final Rose so they could have a real shot at a relationship. They are now dating and in love.
Susie told Us Weekly earlier this year that the couple now agrees they both made mistakes and "could have done better" in having "more empathy for each other" and listening to each other's perspective.